Housing: Homelessness, Foreclosures, Tenant Organizing, Eviction Defense, and Squatting

  • One mutual aid project that would be amazing to see emerge and expand everywhere, given the rising costs of housing and attacks on tenants and increasing homelessness, would be networks of people sharing space in their homes in short-term and long-term ways. This could also be a vital resource for people coming out of prison, foster care or abusive families and relationships. Two potentially interesting models that were sent to us are the Avenues for Youth Host Home Program in Minneapolis and the Seattle YMCA Host Home Program. Informally, we have also been hearing about people starting google docs and having people post info about what they can share and for how long, so that people in need can string together some housing and people with housing to share can offer something knowing that if there are limits to what they can offer, they are not alone in supporting the person and can help them find the next housing option. If you have models or resources for developing housing sharing projects, please send them to us!
  • This article about the solidarity network model is a super useful resource for doing local work to help tenants fight landlords (also used to help fight wage theft and other battles). The article looks at the model as practiced by the Seattle Solidarity Network, and the Portland Solidarity Network.
  • Standing Against Foreclosure and Eviction (SAFE) is “a grassroots organization based out of Seattle, dedicated to building a mass movement to stop bank evictions, achieve principal reduction, and put people before profit. SAFE uses a Defensive and Offensive strategy. The Defense is knowing your legal rights and defending yourself legally. These rights should be used together with the Offense. The Offense is public protest and public pressure on the banks.”
  • Take Back the Land is a movement that includes many local action groups engaging in strategies aimed at changing land relations, including public protest, actions to protect public housing, moving people in to squat vacant government or foreclosed properties, and defending against foreclosure. The website has videos, stories, key principles, and information about the book that examines the movement.
  • Jane Place Land Trust in New Orleans, an organization focused on building affordable housing, especially in the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of housing in New Orleans and the intensive gentrification after the storm that displaced black and poor populations.
  • Image from Just Seeds.

    Notara Squat in Athens, Greece houses over 100 refugees and migrants per night passing through Athens. This article gives a useful overview about why the project was started and some info about how it works.

  • Beautiful Solutions is collecting stories of “solutions” to climate change and poverty, and has helpful information about community land trusts, housing cooperatives, the Brazilian Landless Workers’ Movement, and more .
    • “SHARE is Seattle Housing and Resource Effort (co-ed).
    • WHEEL is the Women’s Housing, Equality and Enhancement League (women-only).
    • We are partner organizations of homeless and formerly homeless men and women.
    • All of our efforts are self-managed; run by the homeless members themselves.
    • We are King County’s largest shelter network, with 15 indoor shelters and 3 Tent Cities.
    • In addition to shelters and Tent Cities, we facilitate a Storage Locker Program and a Housing-For-Work Program called SHARE2.
    • We are not a social service organization; we are a self-help group.”